Psalm 91: A Message of Hope

A photo of the Holy Bible opened to the book of Psalms.

Introduction to Psalm 91

When Covid-19 swept across almost all borders, fear and anxiety gripped hearts around the world. No one seemed safe anymore and everyone was searching for methods of protection. Today, we face new and dangerous challenges. In times of crisis, however, the children of God, as it has happened right through history, can find encouragement and comfort through the promises of God. One such passage people often turn to for comfort is Psalm 91.

As I look at social media today, I find many people sharing either the entire passage of Psalm 91 or at least parts of it, to strengthen others. Through this article, I would like to share my thoughts as well regarding this beautiful Psalm. Do keep your Bible open to Psalm 91 as you read.

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Sermon : Four Steps to Win the Battle Over Worry (Matthew 6:25-34)

bridge 53769 1920

Introduction

A man was constantly worrying that somebody was under his bed. He went to a Counselor who was willing to help him, but at a high fee, over many months. A few weeks later the Counselor met the man on the street and asked him why he had not returned. The man replied, “I met a friend who gave me some great advice for free. It worked perfectly’. The Counselor asked what advice had been given him and the man replied, ‘He asked me to cut the legs of the bed down to ground level”!

How much we worry and how many of our worries are unfounded? Unhealthy worrying can cripple us to the point of making us ineffective and unable to cope with life’s challenges. It can also lead to depression. We worry over sickness, viruses, finances, family, children, salt, sugar, unforeseen dangers and many other things.

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God’s Restoration of the Lost Years : Sermon (Isaiah 54)

Sermon : God’s Restoration of the Lost Years

Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka – Photo Credit: Vasantha Jayasooriya

INTRODUCTION

Let me begin this sermon on God’s restoration with the following illustration.

One of the historical wonders of Sri Lanka is the complex rock fortress, Sigiriya, and the palace built on it by one of our former Kings, Kasyapa, many centuries ago. It is an amazing place to see & tourists flock there to view its beauty, grandeur and craftsmanship. One of the highlights of Sigiriya is the frescoes that are painted on the rock walls. These and the site itself are considered National treasures, with UNESCO listing Sigiriya as a world heritage site. (If ever you come over to Sri Lanka, you need to visit Sigiriya).

Many years ago, some of the frescoes were vandalized by an unknown group of people, with, (if I remember correctly), either ink or paint being thrown, to deface them. As a result, many experts had to be brought in (foreign and local), to work at restoring these frescoes back to their original state. Thankfully, they succeeded in most of their painstaking efforts.

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5 Foundations To Build A Blessed Family

5 Foundations to Build a Blessed Family

Image credit: Evil Erin

Introduction

Many buildings that look strong on the outside develop cracks and some collapse, due to the foundation being weak. Bad foundations produce bad buildings! It’s no different with building a blessed family. Didn’t the Lord Jesus Himself give us the parable of the house on the Rock and the one on sand (Matthew 7:24-27)? The house on the Rock stood firm because it had the right foundation.

In this article, I would like to share what I believe are 5 vital foundations for building a blessed family. They are:

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God Will Never Leave You (Deuteronomy 31)

(This is an outline of a sermon titled ” God Will Never Leave You”, preached at the People’s Church in Sri Lanka on Sunday, 7th April 2024).

Opening Illustration: Shared a memory of being let down by someone during a moment of crisis. 

Introduction:  Refer to Deuteronomy 31:1-8

a) The nation of Israel was preparing to enter the promised land.

b) Moses  says that he is now 120 years old and unable to lead them any longer.

c) The Lord had told him that he would not be crossing the Jordan to enter the promised land. 

This was a pivotal and important moment in Israel’s history. The people would have been deeply disturbed by Moses’ statement. However, Moses assures them with a powerful promise.

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The Tomb – Given with Courage and Commitment

A visual of a tomb to depict the tomb given by Joseph of Arimathea for Jesus' burial.

This reading based around Joseph of Arimathea, is from Day – 21 of the Devotional titled, “Reflections on Passion Week”. The e-book can be purchased on Amazon.com here. (Available on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited).

Scripture: “As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.” (Matthew 27:57-58)

After Jesus’ death, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a prominent and upright member of the Jewish Council, went boldly before Pilate and requested permission to bury the body. In the process, he had to go through the tension of first facing an unscrupulous and treacherous governor, and thereafter, a battle-hardened centurion (Mark 15:43-45, Luke 23:50). After checking with the centurion whether Jesus was already dead, Pilate eventually released the body to Joseph (Mark 15:45). 

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5 Lessons from Jesus about Trust and Handling Money (Luke 16)

A visual of money to highlight Jesus' teachings on trust and worldly resources.

A sermon showing lessons from Jesus on trust and wealth.

Introduction:

Last week I read about a very wealthy businessman. He was a landowner who rented his estates to other merchants, to do business on his land. Payment was made at the end of a season on the produce and earnings they made from the estate.

This owner had an Operations Manager who possibly had been given comfortable accommodation too. After a while however, this manager began mismanaging the owner’s estate and money began to leak out, possibly because of wastage. So, at one point, the boss got to know that this was happening, and he called the manager up and said, “You know, you better give a report on your management because what’s happening is not good”. He was also probably given marching orders to step down from his job.

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Jacob – Fulfilling God’s Purpose (Genesis 28)

A visual with the word "Purpose" to highlight our title of fulfilling God's Purpose.

This is the transcript of a sermon preached at The People’s Church in Colombo, Sri Lanka – Fulfilling God’s Purpose (Genesis 28)

You know, I was reading about the well-loved preacher Billy Graham a couple of days ago. It is said that when Billy Graham joined Bible College in the 30’s, he was once asked to preach a sermon impromptu. He apparently preached four borrowed sermons in eight minutes! But that day he felt a clear call to preach, and from there on, he used every opportunity that he could, to preach, which wasn’t many at that time. As a result, he used to take a boat and go across the river and preach to the surrounding trees, birds, and alligators. That’s how he built his preaching ministry and God’s purpose..

Sometime later, while on a walk in the night, he fell on his knees and he said, “Lord if you want me to serve you, I will do it.” That day the ministry and God’s purpose in Billy Graham’s life was clearly set.

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Seeing God When My Eyes Fail

Visual of someone looking up through a binoculars to indicate looking at God when our eyes fail.

This article was first published in September 2022 on Discover from Our Daily Bread Ministries.

After what seemed like an agonizingly long time, my eye doctor said, “You have a problem pastor. You need to get it fixed urgently.” I sat there, shocked, hardly able to listen, as he explained with much concern that the retina on my left eye had detached. (To make matters worse, there were small holes (tears) on the retina of my right eye as well).

No! This can’t be true! Not my eyes,” I thought, as he kept talking. But, yes, this was really happening to me. My thoughts flashed back to a persistent uneasiness I had felt for some time with my vision. My vision had been nearly perfect following cataract surgery a few years earlier. I had even unceremoniously disposed of the thick spectacles that had been a part of my appearance for almost my entire life! Now, this!

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The Challenge of Preaching at Christmas

A visual of a candle and a Christmas tree to draw attention to the theme of 'Preaching At Christmas'.

The Challenge of Preaching at Christmas

(Preaching at Christmas time is never easy. May this article be useful to all preachers in their preparation.)

Our pastoral team was planning for the Christmas Season and at that moment, focusing on our main Christmas Event. The event which is held mid-December is normally a well-planned production that would attract anything from 1300-1500 (sometimes more) people from cross-sections of the city. As the discussion continued, one of the pastors casually asked, “Who will be our speaker?” As thoughts of a number of  possible guest preachers went through my mind, the Senior Pastor looked at me smilingly. He wanted me to be the speaker.

My immediate reaction should have been, “Not me. Not at Christmas time.” But strangely, I felt a peace about taking on the challenge which was not too far away. Since that day, I have had the opportunity to preach at many of our Christmas Events, besides speaking around 6-10 times at our outreach ministries every December. Over the years, I have learned many lessons about preaching at Christmas time and would like to share  some of my learning experiences in this article. They are as follows.

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Being A Person Sent By God (Acts 19:8-11, John1:6) – A Sermon Outline

A visual of a person sent by God studying His Word in preparing for his/her mission..

Introduction: Sermon outline on being sent by God

“There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John” (John 1:6)

Like John the Baptist, God is looking for men and women He can send into His harvest field. Are you willing to be one of them? Dwight Moody was once told, “Moody, the world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully committed to Him.” Moody answered that call and God used him powerfully.

Proposition: God can use anyone who is available and willing to serve Him.

In case you are asking the question, “What does God expect of me if He sends me?”, here are 5 things He would look for.

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